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Let The Games Begin

Around the country, a mixed bag of mixed couples faced off in Round One of Tennis Australia’s Win a Wildcard tournament. Their goal? To win a chance to take on the pros on court at the 2015 Australian Open. In a flurry of shuffling shoes, sweaty faces, thwacks and grunts, we whittled down the 504 entrants to just 22 couples, who we will be seeing soon when they clash again in Round Two.

11
TENNIS CLUBS

From the scruffy suburban courts of your childhood to glamorous country clubs; we travelled around the country to find the 22 best couples in Australia.

54
YEARS BETWEEN PLAYERS

Age means nothing when it comes to raw tennis talent. Some were starting out, some were finishing up, both had a bit of trouble with their shoelaces - but hey, they could ALL hit a mean backhand.

 

504
DIFFERENT PARTNERSHIPS

Some were friends, some were lovers, some were mates from work, and some had been playing on the one side of the net since they could talk. Whatever the connection, they all had one thing in common: wanting to WIN.

PARTNERSHIP OF THE WEEK

James Smith

“Tennis mixed doubles is more than just a sport or a game. It’s about a relationship - trust, support, communication. Learning to put your whole heart into the match, and trusting your partner will be right next to you, doing the same.”

James Smith

What's The Best Thing About Tennis Partnerships?

1
Having someone to share the wins... and losses.

Because who’s going to share the celebratory beers? (And the occasional commiseration beer, too…)

2
Always having a motivational force pushing you forward.

There’s no time for slacking when there’s a game to win!

3
Ensuring an honest critic.

Your tennis partner will know your game better than most.

4
The great company.

Tennis doubles is a wonderfully social sport, as long as you can hit a ball and discuss dinner recipes at the same time.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

The Tale of Two Players

Greg, 50
Greg, 50
Luba, 30
RD 1 (W)

“I’m an Australian wheelchair tennis coach and Luba is one of our players at Melbourne Park. She’s on a scholarship travelling the world playing tournaments, so we thought we’d come here and have a hit of the doubles today. Usually I’m her coach so I’m quite looking forward to today to play together for a change."

Caroline, 19
Caroline, 19
Enrique, 19
RD 1 (W)

“We know each other from school, but we’ve never played together before - we’re good friends, but are probably a little more serious on the court! We like to win.”

Mark, 23
Mark, 23
Catherine, 28
RD 1 (W)

"We’ve been playing together for about a year and we seem to play a lot better when we play together than by ourselves. I yell, he runs. It’s a great relationship!”

Megan, 25
Megan, 25
Sam, 27
RD 1 (W)

“I really can’t compare playing together to any other relationship, it’s pretty unique – let’s just say I put up with a lot from him on the court!”

Paul, 34
Paul, 34
Sophie, 28
RD 1 (W)

“We’re married, but have never actually played together before today – so I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens. I’m not such a great player, so she’s here to bring up my game.”

 

Dom, 51
Dom, 51
Lisa, 45
RD 1 (W)

“We’re brother and sister. Tennis has always been a family sport for us as kids, and now for our families too. We think tennis has a close affinity with family relationships.”

VIEW ROUND 2:
WERE ALL IN IT TOGETHER
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